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Port of Oakland peak season outlook: Cargo record? Bring it on

Volume flowing smoothly ahead of likely import jump in coming months

Press Releases, Seaport
July 24th, 2017

Oakland, Calif. – July 24, 2017: Possible record peak-season import volume should flow smoothly through the Port of Oakland, Maritime Director John Driscoll said today.  In his forecast before an expected holiday cargo rush, the Port executive said Oakland is braced for more business.

“We’re hearing that the next two-to-three months could set new containerized import records in the U.S.,” Mr. Driscoll said.  “If that’s the case, we’re ready; we’ve got plenty of equipment to move cargo and our terminals are operating with high efficiency.”

The Maritime Director’s remarks followed a bullish forecast from the National Retail Federation.  The trade association said this month that containerized import volume could reach all-time highs in July and August. That’s the traditional start of peak season when retailers stock up for back-to-school and holiday sales.

Underscoring the prediction, Oakland reported record cargo volume for the month of June.  The Port said Oakland imports are up 3.4 percent this year compared to 2016.  The Port said it expects the trend to continue for the next few months.

Here’s the Port summary of peak-season preparedness:

  • Marine terminals are loading and unloading ships with a 24-hour average turnaround.
  • They’re requiring appointments for truck drivers to pick up import containers, easing crowding at terminal gates.
  • Night gates are also improving cargo flow.  Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) is processing about 1,200 transactions a night, roughly 20 percent of its daily volume.
  • An exclusive, off-terminal empty container yard is helping to smooth out traffic, too.  OICT reports about 400 empty pick-ups/deliveries every day.
  • Truck drivers require only 30-to-90 minutes in most cases to pick up or deliver cargo.
  • Occasional truck queues at TraPac marine terminal should thin out by September when a new gate complex opens.
  • There’s no shortage of containers to ship exports out of Oakland.
  • Leasing companies report an adequate supply of chassis, which are essential for hauling containers over the road.  The providers are working daily with marine terminals to reposition chassis when peak-period supplies are tight.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts
Mike Zampa,
Communications Director
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1565
mzampa@portoakland.com

Marilyn Sandifur,
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
msandifur@portoakland.com

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